It’s the Committee Release of Ardbeg Kelpie, a single malt released in 2017 having been matured in casks made from virgin Black Sea oak and more traditional bourbon casks. The Committee Release is bottled at the higher strength of 51.7% ABV (while the standard Ardbeg Kelpie is bottled at 46% ABV).
Nose: A wonderful, intense, ‘dancing’ nose, with lots of different, intertwined aromas – powerful, oily peat, dark chocolate, smoked fish, hints of seaweed, and a curious, sharp herbal note. Waves of spicy, black pepper. A splash of water brings forth some classic Ardbeg notes, such as creamy coffee, smoked fudge and pine resin. Even some hints of smoked coconut.
Palate: A peppery mouthfeel is followed by a crescendo of rich flavours. Treacle toffee, Turkish coffee, smoky bacon and lots of dark, dark chocolate. A curious burst of peachy, estery fruit, hickory wood, clove oil and a suggestion of black olives on the aftertaste.
Finish: Seemingly lasting forever, with deep, deep, almost subterranean flavours of clove, tar and rich toffee.
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